Jazz-influenced classical, song cycles of American poets, art song, orchestral, cabaret, theatrical. Debut CD -- "Where The Sunsets Bleed: Chamber Music of Edward Knight" -- to be released by Albany Records in 2005.
Edward Knight is a "fresh, original voice" with "an inventive sense of humor" (Bernard Holland, The New York Times) who creates music that is "visceral in its excitement" (John von Rhein, Chicago Tribune).
He was born November 4, 1961, in Ann Arbor. As a teenage trumpeter and singer, he spent three summers performing jazz, classical, and gospel works behind the Iron Curtain. A love of improvisation led him to the formal study of composition, a doctoral degree from University of Texas at Austin, and a year of private study with John Corigliano. He was the first American to win the Sir Arthur Bliss Memorial Award for outstanding composer at London’s Royal College of Music.
Knight eschews, easy classification by moving freely between jazz and concert worlds. His works have been performed on five continents by groups ranging from the Oklahoma Opera and Music Theater Company to the Dutch-based American Voices chamber group to the New York Philharmonic, in venues as varied as the "Meet in Beijing" Festival to the Hollywood Bowl. Reviewers call his music "suave and sinister" (Timothy Mangan, Los Angeles Times) and "inventive and melodic" (Wayne Lee Gay, Knight-Ridder). It "seizes and holds your imagination and makes you want to hear it again" (von Rhein).
Knight was named Oklahoma’s 2002 Musician of the Year. He has been awarded fellowships to the Yaddo and MacDowell colonies, won ASCAP’s Rudolf Nissim Award for Best New Orchestral Work, and received recognition from the Bergen Festival’s Morton Gould Memorial and Vienna Modern Masters.
He has directed the music composition program at Oklahoma City University since 1997. His works are published by Subito Music and distributed nationally by Theodore Presser, and internationally by Boosey & Hawkes. Albany Records will release his debut CD, "Where The Sunsets Bleed," featuring soprano Marquita Lister, in 2005.